Impolitic Life Sheer Idiocy

Not Good: High school kids with no wish to offend

<![CDATA[Boing Boing: High schoolers on free speech:

A new study reveals that far too many US high school students don’t seem to understand the meaning of free speech, aren’t taught about the First Amendment, or simply don’t care. A few choice excerpts from the AP story:

…When told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories…

Three in four students said flag burning is illegal…

About half the students said the government can restrict any indecent material on the Internet.

Who is teaching these kids? Link

I was having a conversation with my wife about how kids are graded based on their willingness to stay inside well-defined lines just last night. What the hell have we done when our kids are less rebellious than a senile babushka in Stalinist Russia?]]>

Business Life Technic

Wirearchy :: Demos and de Tutor

<![CDATA[Wirearchy :: Demos and de Tutor:
We learn about it from a fascinating new study, The Pro-Am Revolution, a 70-page paper from Demos in the UK. It barely mentions bloggers or journalism, and so it is perfect for sketching a larger pattern into which J-blogging fits.
The twentieth century was shaped by the rise of professionals in most walks of life. From education, science and medicine, to banking, business and sports, formerly amateur activities became more organised, and knowledge and procedures were codified and regulated. As professionalism grew, often with hierarchical organisations and formal systems for accrediting knowledge, so amateurs came to be seen as second-rate. Amateurism came to be to a term of derision. Professionalism was a mark of seriousness and high standards.
And of course this happened in journalism in the 1920s through 1940s. University training, professional societies, codes of ethics emerged. This movement created my institution, the J-school, as well as the standard of neutral, nonpartisan professionalism of which Howard Fineman spoke. Demos on the shift:

But in the last two decades a new breed of amateur has emerged: the Pro-Am, amateurs who work to professional standards. These are not the gentlemanly amateurs of old – George Orwell’s blimpocracy, the men in blazers who sustained amateur cricket and athletics clubs. The Pro-Ams are knowledgeable, educated, committed and networked, by new technology.
Read more….]]>